Smell, texture & sound
Written by on Sunday 8 March 2015
The texture of food is very influential on our eating behaviour. But why?
What we eat strongly correlates with how our senses perceive and appreciate food. Not just our taste and smell, but texture, sound, look and even stimuli like pain are a part of our sensory perception that determines what we like. These sensory processes are responsible for our choice of food and, as a result, the variation of our eating pattern.
People have already judged the freshness, and consequently the tastiness, of a product as soon as they hear the sound a crunch, sizzle or crisp it makes when they eat it.Tests using subjects that were unable to properly hear the sound of the food they ate judged it to be less pleasing overall.
Just like how scent stimulates the olfactory nerves, taste stimulates the gustatory nerves. It makes the body produce more digestive juices and makes it process food faster. Taste is also important to the brain: when something has no taste, the brain doesn’t give off any satiety signals. Taste is strongly connected with nutritional values. It registers the incoming amount of energy and transfers that information to our brain and digestive tract. Five of the six basic flavours can be connected to a specific nutrient.
The texture of food is very influential on our eating behaviour. Whether we ingest liquids or solids is important for our feelings of satiety. With the exception of milk when we were a baby, evolutionary speaking, we have never had access to liquid calories. While we had grapes, for example, we did not have grape juice. We have always had to chew our food properly in order to ingest enough calories.
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